Take a recent court case that the “Today” show featured.
Kendra Platt-Lee of San Diego broke off her engagement with Steven Silverstein. She gave him back the $32,000 ring.
But Silverstein is now suing his former sweetie for pre-wedding expenses, rent from two apartments the couple shared while dating and nearly $19,270 he claims she took from their joint bank account, reports Scott Stump, a TODAY.com contributor.
“I don’t think that I owe him any money at all,’’ Platt-Lee told NBC News from her home in San Diego. “I’m just your normal girl who fell out of love with somebody, and I didn’t feel it was right in my heart. I just didn’t feel I wanted to get married anymore so I broke it off. I just wanted to break up with somebody and move on, and it turned out that he just wants to drag this out.’’
Platt-Lee doesn’t think she owes Silverstein for the money spent on the wedding because she didn’t want all those lavish preparations. She wanted a smaller, more intimate ceremony.
“We started planning a wedding, and it was really over the top,” she said.
Breaking up is hard to do. But add money to the mix, and, well, you can get sued in our culture that loves litigation.
So this week’s Color of Money Question: Should a couple split the cost of a canceled wedding? Send your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to include your full name, city and state, and put “Love and Lawsuits” in the subject line.
Let’s Chat Today
Join me at noon ET for my a live discussion with Zac Bissonnette, author of the Color of Money Book Club pick for May, “How to be Richer, Smarter and Better-Looking Than Your Parents.”
In his book, Bissonnette offers financial advice to young adults.
Be sure to send your questions in early or read the transcript later.
Wedding Destination Woes
Washington Post columnist Carolyn Hax recently responded to a reader who wanted to know how to decline an invitation to attend a family member’s destination wedding. The reader can’t afford the travel expenses.
“My beloved aunt is bursting at the seams with excitement for her only child’s wedding in Hawaii next year,” the reader wrote. ”Any suggestions for softening the blow of not attending -- unless we hit the lottery?”
Hax advises the reader to skip the wedding, if she can’t afford it. “You tell your aunt you’re very sorry [but] you’ll be missing the wedding.”
I know it’s sometimes hard to be honest when family members who put pressure on you to do whatever. But financial honesty is always the best policy.
I agree with Hax. If you can’t afford to attend a wedding far from where you live, say so. Send a nice gift, if that’s in your budget. If the aunt or the couple or whoever gets upset, that’s the price you pay for having the courage to do what you can afford. If they want you to attend so badly, they can pay.